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York Book Expo

I am so excited about our upcoming York Book Expo! This is going to be a great event for the whole family with lots of fun activities for the kids. Our New York Times Bestselling author, David Rosenfelt, will be joined by so many wonderful local authors, and of course I’ll be there signing my own Children’s Picture Book, The Greatest Aunt. I hope to see you there on October 17, 2015!

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Save the Date!

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On October 17th I will be at the Book Expo along with many other local authors and NY Times Bestseller, David Rosenfelt. I will be signing copies of my children’s picture book, The Greatest Aunt. There will be a children’s activity area and adoptable dogs and cats. It promises to be a fun day! So come on out to Memorial Hall- York Expo Center, and get your autographed copy of The Greatest Aunt for the special little ones in your life.

The Goal is in Sight

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The Observer

The boy is probably nine or ten years old, like so many other little boys sprinkled all over the sandy beaches by the sea, but there is something different here. He is watching. Shovel in hand, he stands motionless, looking toward the sea. I can’t see his face, but my eyes are drawn to his stillness. Seconds pass. He digs his shovel into the sand. One shovel full, then two – he pauses – then three.

He turns, looks to his left; seconds pass, one thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three, and back to the displacement of sand. The child stops again, looks left, pause, out to sea, pause, to his right, pause, then turning, looks inland. His gaze lingers, looking past me, perfectly still as seconds pass, one thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three, one thousand four. Returning to his labor, three, now four shovels of sand are tossed to the wind before he pauses once more gazing in each direction.

A baseball cap shades eyes that watch, eyes that search. Other children run, squeal, dig, and splash. He also digs, but his focus is not on his labor so much as something beyond.

The hole begins to take shape, an arc, but still he stops and looks. A smile erupts lighting the young face as his arm extends in a wave. He has found what he was searching for. Following his gaze, I see the objects of his excitement; one boy of approximately the same height, another about a head taller, and an older teenage girl. Stillness shattered by laughter…the girl smiles and moves on leaving the young ones to their endeavors.

From green mesh bag filled with plastic rainbow of tools, come two more shovels, pink and yellow, and the team begins to work in earnest, digging, shaping, patting sand to perfection. Their creation takes form and, after briefly admiring the fruits of their labor, the two late arrivals answer the call of the crashing waves.

Some seconds pass; then with one last admiring look, the boy abandons art to attack the rolling foam.

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Many men serve their countries fighting to preserve freedom and the rights of mankind. My father was one of those men. Well, he was actually more of a boy than a man when he went off to fight in WWII. He fought as a tail-gunner in the Pacific Campaign fighting the Japanese. Yes, he was part of what was known as “The Greatest Generation.”

Not everyone who fought in that war came home with physical wounds. Many came home then, as they do now, with invisible wounds that affected them and those around them for the rest of their lives.

My father, William M. Muhly, lost a lung and a wife (my mother) as a direct result of the war. He contracted tuberculosis while serving and my mother contracted it from him. He survived after a very long stay in a VA hospital and one collapsed lung. However, following a long stay in another sanitarium, my mother lost her battle with the disease leaving a widower with three young children.

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I don’t believe my father was ever the same after that, though I obviously don’t know too much about what he was like before the war, before my birth. He may not have led an exemplary life; he may have done some things beyond my understanding, but I know this. As a young man, he put his life on the line to defend this great country and freedom for us all. For that I honor him, and I am proud to say, thank you, Dad.

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William M. Muhly, Sr. (center)

4/18/1922 – 3/11/2013

Another Milestone

What a great day! Today I accomplished another milestone on my journey as an author. I spoke at Career Day at the elementary school where I once taught, Lincoln Charter School.

The Student Support Manager, Jennifer Dugan, invited me to come and talk to the students about writing. I must admit I was nervous about the prospect and wondered if I was up to the task. Then I had an idea. I invited my friend, author and CEO of Year of the Book Publishing, Demi Stevens, to come with me. Well, that was a brilliant idea if I do say so myself.

We met with three groups of children and spent thirty minutes with each group. I told them about my journey as I’m about to publish my first children’s book and then read them the story. Since they seemed to enjoy The Greatest Aunt, (I even got applause), I promised to come back and share the finished product complete with illustrations this fall.

Then I introduced Demi Stevens. She shared more about the process of becoming a writer and getting published and then read her very own children’s books to them.  They really enjoyed Write Away and Roger, Roger.

I’m so glad I said yes to Jen Dugan’s invitation and look forward to visiting many more schools in the future.

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Back to School

Five years after retiring from my position at Lincoln Charter School, I’m going back! I was invited to come to Career Day and talk about being an author. I hesitated at first thinking perhaps I should wait until my first book is actually published, but then I thought of the perfect solution.

My publisher, and CEO of Year of the Book, Demi Stevens, has agreed to join me. She not only has more experience and knowledge of the entire writing process, but she has also just published her second picture book. It is absolutely adorable, and the children will love seeing and hearing Roger, Roger.

I am excited to share my own experience with the kids as well, and hope some of them will be encouraged to make writing (or illustrating) a part of their future.

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